and it paints a completely ridiculous and damaging standard for actual, everyday women. there are a few things happening here. for starters, it's not actually healthy to loose weight that fast if those claims are real. and many celebrity women are not gaining enough weight when they're pregnant (they are afraid to get too fat and have to lose it later). on top of that, most of these ladies have far above the average income. serious exercising takes time and resources that most new moms don't have. i can't possibly imagine finding an hour to myself to go to the gym and see a personal trainer. walking around the block with jude? that's about all i can manage a few times a week. and healthy food? it's freaking expensive. that's why poor people are fat and rich people are skinny. good food is expensive and crap food is cheap. on top of that add in stylists, makeup, spanx, personal trainers, and personal chefs.
we are surrounded by images of women that are just aren't... real. they aren't the average woman's experience. and trying to live up to those standards is both demoralizing and impossible. these images are destroying the confidence of women everywhere. it's not enough anymore to just be healthy and happy. plus half those pictures aren't real- they're edited and airbrushed. the truth is that a real post-baby body is something that america keeps a secret. girls don't know what to expect after having a baby and aren't prepared for stretch marks and moved around weight and big boobs because everything around us is sanitized. women who just had a baby shouldn't be embarrassed by their bodies. they just did something incredible. and it takes a while for things to go back to some semblance of "normal" and some things might never go back.
and so, without further blabbling on about how celebrities are jerks and lead a lifestyle completely foreign to the common american, i give you- american new mom:
this is me, 11 weeks postpartum. you can compare and contrast with this picture of me doing the same thing pregnant here. i don't have a pre-pregnancy photo for comparison because despite what this website might indicate i don't typically take photos of myself in my underpants, so, sorry for that. i am a real woman who just had a baby. with stretch marks and lumpy belly and, whatever else. i'm pretty much back down to my starting weight but everything is all... moved around.. from where i remember it. i wear most of my pre-pregnancy clothes but they fit a little funny in spots.
it took every ounce of self control that i have in my being not to photoshop the shit out of that photo before i posted it. COME ON, WHAT IF I JUST TAKE A LITTLE BIT OFF MY FAT, FAT ARM?!!? AHHHHHHHH! -but that would ruin the whole point, you know? about being honest about what our bodies are meant to do. because i don't think i need to be embarrassed about my body but i totally am. stupid american culture. and this is also why you shouldn't trust any picture you see in a magazine (or anything by anyone who knows how to edit photos).
because most of the pictures that you see published out there in public are a straight up lie. because i can fix all of my body image issues with a few clicks of a mouse. if only it were that easy in real life.
if you're interested in reading more about this topic i first heard about it at The Shape of a Mother, which is a website chock full of pictures of actual women's bodies illustrating this exact same point.